Oliver Lea-Wilson — ProCopywriters Member Spotlight

Oliver Lea-Wilson

Next-Gen Copy

Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?

I’ve always been a writer. It used to be scripts but then I moved onto novels and short stories. There’s something about communicating ideas that I love.

In my day job, however, I used to work as a legal caseworker. When I drafted communications, I noticed that I loved working with words. As time passed, I heard about copywriting and thought it sounded right up my street.

Then I was hit by a life-changing illness. It took me 7 years to get better. When I did finally get back on my feet, it felt like the right time to learn a profession I’d always wanted to do.

What work are you most proud of?

Probably my work for Crimzon Communications. Or The Inspired Rider project. Those were both exciting to work on.

I’m also proud of being able to help my customers get more leads and business. A single direct mail letter got Synergy Personnel a huge amount of new income. And the Facebook ads I wrote for QT Property Investments increased their leads by 100%. Result!

What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?

‘Kebabs. Done right.’ It’s the slogan for German Doner Kebab and it’s brilliant in its simplicity. It got me to think how much I liked kebabs. But then confirmed my suspicions that I’d never tried a real one. What would a kebab ‘done right’ taste like?

It certainly planted a seed in my mind and got me to try out their takeaway. Which is delicious by the way. Other than that, I love that line by David Ogilvy. ‘At sixty miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock.’

What do you do if you’re hit by a bit of writer’s block?

Baths are brilliant. My best ideas happen when I’m in one. Alternatively, I’ll go for a walk or immerse myself in the subject.

Say I’m writing about some AI software. I might listen to a podcast or watch a Youtube video, which should spark some ideas.

Another useful method is to read the greats. So, I usually read some work by a well-known copywriter like Tom Albrighton or Gary Halbert. Soon enough, I’m brimming with ideas again.

What are your favourite and least and favourite writing-related tasks?

I love writing headlines. I could do it all day. There’s something about boiling down a complex idea to a single sentence that’s so satisfying.

My least favourite is making that last proofread before a deadline. There’s always the worry that you might have missed something big. Or that the client won’t like it!

Any copywriting pet hates?

Ha, yeah. Those vague briefs that change the moment you’ve submitted the final draft. I think managing those better is my main challenge.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

Celebrate the wins. Learn from the losses.

What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?

There’s so much to learn! And it doesn’t stop at copy. For example, knowing a bit about digital marketing will help you massively.

And you need to learn about the power of positioning and value-based pricing ASAP. So, learn as much as you can, and don’t ever stop! Set aside time every week to keep developing your skill and craft.

Also, try to join some networking groups. It’s a great way of building up a wide portfolio in a short space of time.

Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?

There are some great articles and the workshops are amazing. I love how they are all posted online for us to take notes when we have a bit of downtime. That’s so valuable.

Plus, there’s a great sense of community. And I’m looking to attend a conference when lockdown lifts.

Where can people find out more about you?

I’m actually in the process of rebranding. So, is the old website. But is the new one. Hopefully, that should be up and running by the time this article comes out.

What do you think?

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